A Season of Giving
Every year during the holiday season, people around the world dip in their pocketbooks to give gifts to one another. At the end of the year, those who find themselves in good fortune are often able to give back to their communities in the form of donations of funds and time.
Organizations across the state can use the help of fellow Montanans all year round. So many worthwhile organizations across the state can use the assistance of the public as volunteers and participants at all levels. In Montana, we have thousands of non-profits and organizations devoted to making sure people across the state take care of one another, and that quality of life in Montana is ensured for every resident, especially the most vulnerable in the state’s population.
The following is a highlight of just a few of the many Montana organizations worthy of donations of time, energy or funds this holiday season and year-round, from organizations supporting veterans’ mental health to entities supporting activities for the disabled, regional arts programming and preservation of natural resources.
Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation
351 Evergreen Dr, Ste A,
Bozeman, MT 59715
Since 2007, the Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW) has provided over 700 Fishing Experiences to combat veterans and spouses/caregivers from across the nation. All therapeutic programs are based out of Quiet Waters Ranch, 112 peaceful acres near the base of the Bridger Mountains. After undergoing ADA-accessible renovations, Barnard Lodge (the main home at Quiet Waters Ranch) guarantees every program participant an experience devoid of physical barriers in which to promote healing and resilience throughout participation in a therapeutic fishing experience.
According to WQW, recruiting methods are evolving in an effort to meet the ever changing needs of post-9/11 combat veterans and their families. WQW has also expanded programming to serve military caregivers, spouses, and active duty special operations military personnel, recognizing the positive impact a the experience has upon service members who continue to experience high stress and kinetic environments.
Volunteer applications are accepted year-round. To be considered for program placement in 2020, applications must be submitted by January 31, 2020. Volunteer interviews will take place in January and February, 2020. Program volunteers will be notified of placement by March 1, 2020. Regardless of program placement, all applicants will be considered for opportunities outside of direct program support.
Eastern Montana Mental Health Center
2508 Wilson St
Miles City, MT 59301
The Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center was established in 1967 with a mission to provide quality, professional, comprehensive mental health care and substance abuse treatment services to the citizens of Eastern Montana in ways that respect the dignity of citizens and communities.
Due to the confidential nature of the services provided, the organization does not work with volunteers but the offices across eastern Montana maintain wish lists online for certain items needed and accept all donations to facilitate operations of four offices in Miles City, Glendive, Glasgow and Sidney.
Jeff Regan, Chief Operating Officer for the organization, shared more information about the organization and its plans for providing comprehensive care to the most rural counties in Montana.
MONTANA PRESS: What are the origins of the Eastern Montana Mental Health Center and what is its mission?
JEFF REGAN: We’ve been in service for over 50 years, since 1967. The biggest thing for us is that we’re focused on mental health and substance abuse treatment in the 17 most rural counties in the state. Pretty much from Malta over to North Dakota on the Highline, and all the way from Wyoming border to the Canadian border. Those are the 17 counties we serve. We are committed to helping create healthy and secure communities through a comprehensive system of care that holds paramount the needs of the consumers. Vital to this commitment as a network of services and professional providers and offices offering services of unparalleled value.
MONTANA PRESS: Where are your offices located?
JEFF REGAN: Glendive, Glasgow, Sidney and Miles City are our big offices, our major offices. We have satellite offices in pretty
much every little town in our area. We provide services in Baker and Broadus and Circle and other small communities, and we partner with the hospitals and private providers that are in those communities.
MONTANA PRESS: Is this the only care available in some of these smaller areas?
JEFF REGAN: Yes. That’s our stated goal: to try to work within all those small communities that we have in our area and the big ones, too. We have a sliding fee scale for people, and we work off that to make care as affordable as possible for people. We work with a lot of people who are on Medicaid and Medicare and private insurance. We also do a lot of work with vets and veteran’s services.
MONTANA PRESS: How could someone become involved with helping your organization? Do you accept donations?
JEFF REGAN: We sure do. You can go to our website, which is www.emcmhc.com, and you can see all the services we have, everywhere that we’re serving, a special spot for clients who need to reach out, and a donation link. These funds will go directly to helping the people of Eastern Montana.
MONTANA PRESS: What was a significant success for the organization in the last year?
JEFF REGAN: We’ve started some new services. We’ve expanded our prevention of substance abuse and alcohol services in much of our area. We’ve also added a new mental-health group home in Glendive; it’s an 8-bed group home there that just opened up in August of this year. That’s been really helpful for people who have those mental health needs that can’t necessarily be handles on their own. It gives them a place to be in the Glendive area. Opening that group home in Glendive was a big step for us. I think that’s just helpful for the whole Eastern area.
MONTANA PRESS: Are there any significant projects or programs planned for the future of the organization?
JEFF REGAN: We’ve formed a formed partnership with Rimrock, the organization out of Billings, to make sure that we’re providing all the services that we can out here in Eastern Montana and sharing some resources that we have. That just started over this past a couple of months and we’ll be building off of that. And we’ve added a lot of school-based mental-health service programs throughout our area for children. We have six programs, one in Miles City and one in Broadus, three in Huntley Project and then one in Glendive. Those services are really impactful in the communities that we serve.
For more information, visit www.emcmhc.com/donations/.
Montana Food Bank Network
Missoula, MT 59808
The Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) is a Missoula-based non-profit organization that solicits, gleans, sorts, repackages, warehouses and transports donated food and distributes it to charitable programs throughout the state of Montana, directly serving needy families, children and seniors.
Support for MFBN programs comes from a variety of sources. Gifts from individuals, grants from foundations, workplace giving campaigns, and corporate sponsorship are all sources of financial support for funds used to carry out a mission of feeding hungry people in Montana.
Stephanie Stratton, Chief Programs Officer for MFBN, discussed the origins of the organization and plans for continued work eliminating hunger in Montana.
MONTANA PRESS: What are the origins of the Montana Food Bank Network?
STEPHANIE STRATTON: We were established in 1983. The organization was originally out of Glendive and was called Action for Eastern Montana. Somewhere along the line, Montana Food Bank Network or Action for Eastern Montana joined Feeding America, which is a nationwide, hunger-fighting organization. They’re our parent organization and since that time, we’ve grown to a network of over 280 partners throughout the state as well as hold a couple of contracts with DPH, HHS and FWP.
MONTANA PRESS: What is the organization’s stated mission?
STEPHANIE STRATTON: Our mission is to end hunger in Montana through food acquisition, distribution, education and advocacy.
MONTANA PRESS: How can people become involved with the organization’s activities? How can individuals donate goods or services, volunteer time or funds?
STEPHANIE STRATTON: They can go to www.mfbn.org and sign up through our website for volunteer shifts to come out to our warehouse (in Missoula) and pack food for the lovely folks throughout Montana. They can also donate through our website as well. We have a couple of different campaigns and different needs. If people want to focus on childhood hunger, there’s options there. If people want to focus on senior hunger or just general hunger issues or help with operating, there are options through the donation portal.
MONTANA PRESS: What’s been a significant milestone or plateau in the last year in your organization that you can look to as a success? What are your plans for the future?
STEPHANIE STRATTON: We are on track this year to distribute over 12 million pounds of produce, and that is through our grocery store and retail partnerships. The organization will be revisiting and revamping our strategic plan this coming summer. At that point, once we’ve gone through that process, then we’ll have some new visions and new goals going forward.
For more information: www.mfbn.org
Essential Eats Distributors
Website: Essential Eats Distributors Facebook
Missoula, Montana 59802
Essential Eats Distributors (EED) is a grassroots organization working with local volunteers and area farmers, meat packers, and other wholesalers to provide fresh meat and vegetables to outlying communities of the Blackfeet Nation.
EED provides a monthly pantry box to Babb, Blackfoot, Heart Butte, and East Glacier during the school year to children and their families. The group also serves Big Sky High School in Missoula with a SnackPack program which distributes 100 pre-packed food supplements to its students per week; 27 teachers request to use the program. The organization is laying groundwork to serve Seville and Starr School in late 2019, which would increase output to 200 pantry boxes every month.
Last school year, EED provided 35,000 pounds of food, six elk, hundreds of dozens of eggs, $35,000 of new clothing, and 120 bikes and helmets to the Blackfeet Nation, working in cooperation with dozens of other organizations with a focus on Heart Butte. EED is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization.
Casting For Recovery
109 E Oak St Ste 1G
Bozeman, MT 59715
The mission of Casting for Recovery (CfR) is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. Retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR’s retreats are open to women of all ages, in all stages of treatment and recovery for breast cancer, and are free to participants.
Since their founding in 1998, CfR has conducted more than 750 retreats, serving over 10,000 women across the nation. The organization currently offers 59 annual retreats in 42 states. 2018 post-retreat evaluations show that, after attending a Casting for Recovery retreat, 99% would recommend the program to others, 98% felt connected with other participants, 98% gained a new support base with new friends, 92% felt better able to cope with their situation, 92% learned something new about living with breast cancer, 98% received new ideas or resources to improve their quality of life, 98% were inspired to include more outdoor activities at home (walking, mindfulness in nature, fly fishing, etc.).
Whether an avid fly fisher, a go-getting fundraiser or just a passionate supporter, CfR is always seeking more volunteers. Check out the volunteer opportunities on the CfR website or by calling the number listed.
Montana Racial Equity Project
PO Box 11885
Bozeman, MT 59719
The Montana Racial Equity Project, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, advocates equity and justice for historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed peoples in Montana.
The organization provides education and training and activates organizers, individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and businesses to invest in interrupting racism, bigotry, and prejudice whenever encountered.
Program Director Meshayla Cox shared stories of success and progress in Montana.
MONTANA PRESS: What are the origins of the Montana Racial Equity Project?
MESHAYLA COX: We were founded in 2015 by Judith Heilman, who is now the executive director of the organization. She noticed a need within the community to talk about race, and that there wasn’t really an open way to have discussions on race. People weren’t aware of how to facilitate those conversations, and there weren’t any organizations doing specific work around racial injustices in Montana.
MONTANA PRESS: What is the organization’s stated goal or mission?
MESHAYLA COX: Our mission is to decrease the expression of racism in all of its forms. We advocate for people who, while not voiceless, have oftentimes been unheard or unrecognized when we’re in spaces of advocating for social justice.
MONTANA PRESS: How can people become involved with the organization’s activities? How can individuals donate good services, volunteer time, donate funds?
MESHAYLA COX: People can donate through our website (www.themtrep.org). Our monthly newsletter is a great way to find out about the different things we have going on. Anyone interested in volunteering can actually contact me directly at email@example.com, or just contact us through our website or phone number.
Our upcoming workshop in February will be a little bit shorter than our normal workshops, only about four to five hours, and it’s for anyone who interacts with children. This includes parents, educators, or mentors, and it will feature ways to begin conversations on race that are healthy for children and easy for them to understand.
MONTANA PRESS: Can you tell me a significant event or aspect of the last year in your organization, that you can look to as a success for the organization?
MESHAYLA COX: Yes. I would say our biggest success was our 2019 conference; about 230 people attended. We partnered with the Montana Human Rights Network, the Montana Wilderness Association, and a brother-and-sister duo, Ivy and Ivan McDonald, who are doing a documentary on missing and murdered indigenous women (“When They Were Here”). The keynote speaker was Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, a renowned author who wrote, "From the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America." He engaged people in conversations about rethinking our lenses on race, how we think about racism, and how we think about combating racism.
MONTANA PRESS: What significant projects are planned for the future of the organization or in the coming year?
MESHAYLA COX: We periodically plan our “Ending Bias, Bigotry, and Racism” workshops, and they’re normally hosted at the C’mon Inn (Bozeman). We are also doing work with community groups both in Bozeman and Missoula to honor the centennial of the suffrage movement. We are focusing on bringing forward the intersections of identity for black women within the movement, gaining access to voting rights, and we’ll do some workshops on the access to the ballot.
We are also planning and working with organizations like Haven and Planned Parenthood, and have a virtual theater to put on what are called “unplanned story parties” to talk about women’s access to reproductive health services. We try to do those at least twice a year now.
We have our 2020 conference next year, and it’s looking like our focus will be on criminal justice reform; it will be our biggest one yet. We’ve also been getting more involved with consulting with organizations that are interested in doing equity and inclusion work within their organizations, looking at what it would take to make them an actual equal opportunity employer.
For more information, visit www.themtrep.org.
481 S 56th St. West
Billings, Montana 59106
Chinook Horses works to provide opportunities for individuals and families to engage, learn and thrive outside of the classroom and traditional therapeutic environments by practicing equine-assisted activities.
Abigail Hornik, the founder of Chinook Horses offers equine-facilitated psychotherapy, learning, and activities. Hornik earned certifications from the recognized Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, Inc. (EAGALA) and is an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning & Therapeutic Riding Instructor from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, and is pursuing further affidavits. The organization offers unique and individualized services based on extensive staff training.
Chinook Horses offers equine-facilitated psychotherapy, equine-facilitated learning, and equine-assisted activities and learning at White Aspen Ranch which west of Billings. The facility includes a heated indoor, and multiple outside spaces.
Donations are accepted online in different denominations including amounts for enabling a Medicaid client to participate in a session ($86) or providing a equine-facilitated learning experience for up to six children with special needs ($218) among other options.
For more information, visit www.chinookhorses.org
Bozeman, Billings and Great Falls
With the motto of “Everybody has challenges. We have adventures!” Eagle Mount organizations across Montana have been transforming the lives of people with disabilities and children with cancer since 1981. Eagle Mount opens up a world of adventures from skiing and horseback riding to swimming, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling, fishing, and other activities that foster freedom, joy, strength, focus, and confidence.
Following its founders’ wishes, Eagle Mount never turns anyone away who cannot pay and does not accept any government funding. While the original Eagle Mount was founded in Bozeman, three organizations across the state now share the name and the same mission. To sponsor, volunteer or donate, visit www.eaglemount.org (Bozeman) www.eaglemount.us (Billings) or www.eaglemount.net (Great Falls).
Heather Martin, Coordinator of Operations at Eagle Mount in Great Falls, describes the mission and activities of the Eagle Mount programs in Great Falls.
MONTANA PRESS: What is your organization’s stated goal or mission?
HEATHER MARTIN: To provide recreational therapeutic recreation for anyone with a doctor-diagnosed disability. It could be physical, developmental, mental or behavioral, and we provide these services to all ages, up to 103.
We provide adaptive programming such as horsemanship and boarding, or sled hockey. We have a lot of programs: adaptive climbing, indoor climbing, soccer. We have a veteran’s program, we have a tippy toes program that is for infant and toddlers, and we have some seasonal programs like rafting. We even have a pontoon boat.
MONTANA PRESS: How can people become involved with the organization’s activities?
HEATHER MARTIN: The best way is to go to our website at www.eaglemount.net and read about programs. Click on “Get involved” and you can click on our “Participate” page. People can also donate directly through our website donate.
MONTANA PRESS: What are some opportunities for volunteers?
HEATHER MARTIN: It depends on the program. With the equestrian and the horsemanship program, we use volunteers to do side-walking with the horses or leading the horses. With ski and snowboarding, it’s actually helping them to learn how to ski or snowboard; hockey is the same.
MONTANA PRESS: What is something in the last year Eagle Mount could look to as a success?
HEATHER MARTIN: Just staying open every year as a nonprofit! This last fiscal year, we served 557 with about 300 volunteers. All of our programs have different successes. Our equestrian program is moving into helping veterans with PTSD. We’re getting a lot of children with PTSD as well who come abused families, and so many of our volunteers are pretty amazing in helping kids. They’re not therapists but they do a wonderful job just providing a recreation or an activity that some of these guys can’t do otherwise.
Montana School For The Deaf And Blind Foundation
3911 Central Ave
Great Falls, MT 59405
The Foundation provides funds for programs that help prepare Montana School for the Deaf and Blind students for independent lives. The Foundation’s purpose is to benefit children and youths with vision or hearing loss who are students of or served by the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind. The funds are invested and reinvested and used to create a pleasant, homelike setting for students living away from home; provide programs and support to develop and enhance social skills; provide career training and preparation; encourage support and training of school graduates at the post-secondary level; encourage family involvement in student educational and social development; and provide other programs that enable students to take their rightful place as productive members of society.
The MSDB Foundation provides Montana’s deaf and blind children with opportunities for academic and social development similar to those of other children, in order to better prepare them for independent lives.
With the help of many generous donors, the Foundation has funded a large technology program that brought the School into the 21st century, an updated and automated library with an expanded collection, a playground accessible for children with vision or hearing loss, and many programs that directly benefit MSDB students.
The MSDB Foundation provides ongoing support for: job training and career preparation, assistive technology, outreach services for students in their home communities, and capital improvements on campus.
Each year, the Foundation supports a wide range of academic and extracurricular activities that improve the students’ self confidence, quality of life, and education. Donations can be made directly to the Foundation online at www.msdb.mt.gov/foundation.
Montana Legal Services Association
616 Helena Ave, Suite 100
Helena, MT 59601
Montana Legal Services (MLSA) is the only comprehensive legal-services provider in the state, protecting and enhancing the civil and legal rights of Montanans living in poverty. MLSA has provided legal aid to people in every county of Montana over its nearly 50 years of continuous service.
MLSA’s Board of Directors sets priorities for direct client representation by MLSA attorneys. Current priorities include: domestic violence advocacy; housing matters; public benefits; consumer issues; health issues; and utilities. As a private, non-profit law firm, MLSA provides non-criminal legal information, advice, and representation to thousands of Montanans each year. MLSA’s services help fight scams on seniors, assist veterans who have been denied their earned benefits, help people escape abusive relationships, and represent families living in unsafe housing conditions.
MLSA works to provide civil legal aid to low income individuals. Donations to MLSA help provide access to legal help for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Donations also make it easier for all Montanans to access legal information, through easy-to-understand forms, on-line forms, and legal self-help. See a variety of donation options online including in-kind and legacy giving at www.mtlsa.org.
Montana Coalition for Domestic and Sexual Violence
P.O. Box 818
Helena MT 59624
Incorporated in 1986, the Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (MCADSV) is a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations working together to end domestic and sexual violence through advocacy, public education, public policy, and program development. Their stated mission is to support and facilitate networking among member organizations while advocating for social change in Montana.
Currently, MCADSV represents over 50 programs across Montana that provide direct services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children. In addition, their membership includes other nonprofit and government organizations and individuals (professionals and members of the general public) interested in addressing domestic and sexual violence in a way that holds offenders accountable and provides support for the people they victimize.
The Montana Coalition works to eliminate all forms of oppression such as ageism, anti-Semitism, classism, violence against women, homophobia, racism, and sexism within the Coalition and in our members’ crisis centers and other programs. Also, the Coalition is committed to speaking out about the connections between domestic and sexual violence and other forms of oppression.
The Coalition provides support, networking opportunities and training for organizations and community groups that provide domestic and sexual violence intervention/prevention services on the state, regional, and national levels and encourages increased awareness and understanding of domestic and sexual violence and the concerns of survivors and to explore and support innovative policy approaches to issues related to domestic and sexual violence.
Donations are accepted directly on their website, and MCADSV participates in the State Employee Charitable Giving Campaign.
Western Native Voice
310 N 27th St
Billings, MT 59101
Western Native Voice is a non-partisan social-justice organization that works year-round to inspire Native leadership to help communities flourish. Recently, the organization has taken on the task of helping Native Americans in Montana overcome obstacles to participating in the Census.
Ta’jin Perez shares information about the origins of the nonprofit organization and the scope of the work being done. Perez joined Western Native Voice as the Program Manager in March 2017, after organizing local efforts in solidarity to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.
MONTANA PRESS: What are the origins of Western Native Voice?
TA’JIN PEREZ: Established in 2011, Western Native Voice (WNV) is a non-profit, non-partisan social justice organization working to inspire Native leadership through community organizing, education, leadership, and advocacy. With 7% of Montana’s population being Native American, living almost evenly split between reservation and urban areas, WNV organizes in both rural and urban communities, using a culturally tailored community organizing and citizen education model to build Native leadership.
We began to meet the growing need to hold elected officials accountable to their policy promises made during their campaigns. So often, candidates would court the Native vote and leave our communities without a way to check that they make good with those promises. Today, we work in seven Montana tribal communities and three urban centers-- Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls. We inspire Native leadership so our communities flourish.
We strive for a world absent of discrimination and inequality, where every human has equal access to safety and success. Building on the successes of our ancestors, we equip community members with the tools to address local community needs, and enhance political and personal power.
MONTANA PRESS: What is the mission of the organization?
TA’JIN PEREZ: To foster sustainable positive social change in our communities through community organizing and mobilization, leadership development, education, civic engagement, and public policy advocacy.
MONTANA PRESS: How can people become involved with the organization’s activities? How can individuals donate goods or services or volunteer time?
TA’JIN PEREZ: People can become members, for free, online at www.westernnativevoice.org, and folks can donate there as well.
MONTANA PRESS: What has been a significant event or aspect of the last year in your organization that you can look to as a success, milestone or plateau?
TA’JIN PEREZ: For us, the Northern Cheyenne day labor program is an example of great community organizing and proper community outreach. It was an idea that came from locals and had community buy-in. By the end of the program in August 2019, the day-labor program employed 125 people for 390, eight-hour shifts, and has made a very meaningful impact on the Northern Cheyenne Nation.
MONTANA PRESS: Are there any significant projects or programs planned for future of the organization or in the coming year?
TA’JIN PEREZ: We are currently looking to expand the day-labor program to other tribal nations across Montana. We are also looking to include more youth into our work in inspiring Native leadership, both in rural and urban areas.
For more information, visit www.westernnativevoice.org
Alberta Bair Theater
2801 3rd Ave. North
Billings, MT 59101
The Alberta Bair Theater, in one iteration or another, has been an integral part of the cultural scene in Billings for more than 80 years. Originally, the facility was called The Fox Theater. The theater opened its doors November 13, 1931, with a parade, a short-lived street dance and the motion picture Merely Mary Ann with Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. The Fox Theater served as home for the Billings Community Concerts Organization for over fifty years.
The venue was also home for the Billings Symphony and Chorale and offered live plays and musicals that benefited the Fox Committee for the Performing Arts. This Committee was responsible for bringing such stellar performers as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, George Winston and Judy Collins to the community. The Fox Committee’s name still lives on in the popular “Fox Series” offered each season by the Alberta Bair Theater.
The original Charles M. Bair family homestead sat on the same spot where the Fox Theater was built. This house, on the corner of what is now Broadway and Third Avenue North, is where Charles’ daughter Alberta M. Bair was born. This prompted Alberta Bair to provide the lead gift for a project to preserve the music hall, and in 1987 the renovated Fox Theater was named in her honor.
The venue opened its doors to the public on Saturday, January 24, 1987, with a Gala performance by Burt Bacharach. Thanks to the dedication, vision and hard work of the founding board members, the Fox Committee and numerous community-minded people, the Alberta Bair Theater still stands as a world class performing arts center for all the people of Billings and the Northern Rockies.
The Alberta Bair has recently begun a historic journey to expand and improve the theater. It’s been 32 years since the old Fox Theatre was renovated, and in that time tens of thousands of people have attended performances to Tony-awarded Broadway musicals, Grammy Awarded musicians and the best of ballet and modern dance, as well as theatre for all ages.
More than half of the $13.6 million renovation budget addresses infrastructure needs. Today the Alberta Bair Theater is the largest fully- equipped performing arts center in the region. The 1,400-seat is currently undergoing extensive renovations; the venue showcases professional touring companies, featuring musician, dance, and theater performances, as well as local performing groups. The Alberta Bair Theater provides educational programming for 22,000 school children annually and serves a population of 400,000.
Information about donating to the Capital Campaign to continue renovations or the operating fund is available online at the theater website.
Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 190688
Hungry Horse, Montana 59919
The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation (BMWF) connects individuals with their wilderness heritage by providing access to and stewardship of one of the world’s most iconic places, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The complex is named for Robert “Bob” Marshall (January 2, 1901 – November 11, 1939) who was an American forester, writer and wilderness activist who is best remembered as the person who spearheaded the 1935 founding of the Wilderness Society in the United States.
Stewardship programs that the BMWF coordinates benefit the wilderness recreational community including hunters, anglers, hikers, backpackers, horsemen, and packers. The BMWF works to restore damaged areas, remove invasive species and ensures that all Americans have access to Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
Each year, up to 350 BMWF volunteers, ages 12 to 80, participate in 40 to 50 wilderness projects. Projects are accomplished in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service on trails and land within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Since its incorporation in 1997, the BMWF and its volunteers have cleared over 5,000 miles of trail and treated hundreds of acres of invasive species.
In 2017, 336 BMWF volunteers worked a total of 14,492 hours on 46 projects, clearing 3,061 downed trees, maintaining 180 miles of trail, and conducting 17 acres of weed suppression. The total value of labor donated to public lands by BMWF volunteers in 2017 was $440,128.
Also in 2017, BMWF provided two college and high school youth with wilderness conservation internships, where students worked shoulder to shoulder with forest-service wilderness rangers, and packer apprentice programs provided two youth with 40 hours of training and six packing experiences with pack livestock.
BMWF accepts monetary and/or time donations and provides an opportunity for all Montanans to support their work in the annual Mountainfilm Tour across the state (www.mountain film.org). In 2020, BMWF will sponsor four nights of raffles, beer, snacks, and an outdoor recreation film festival across Montana. Tour dates for 2020 are as follows: Great Falls on March 8, Helena on March 9, Missoula on March 11 and Whitefish on March 12. Buy tickets in advance to secure seats and email firstname.lastname@example.org to sponsor or volunteer at the events.
Glacier National Park Conservancy
402 9th St W
Columbia Falls, Montana 59912
The Glacier National Park Conservancy is the official fundraising partner of Glacier National Park, and the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to supporting Glacier. While federal funding provides for Glacier’s day-to-day operations, Glacier National Park Conservancy provides resources that support exceptional projects that the park cannot do on its own. Taking a walk on Glacier National Park’s trails or a driving along the Going-to-the-Sun road, visitors pass by historic cabins, native wildflowers, exhibits about park wildlife, and visitor centers and ranger stations.
With over 700 miles of trail and nearly 400 historic structures, countless artifacts and archaeology sites, Glacier National Park stretches across one million acres of forest, prairie, and alpine parkland. Donations to the Conservancy go to preserve and enhance the visitor experience through trail repair, restoration of historic structures, interpretive displays, bear lockers and more.
Compiled by Reilly Neill
If you know of a worthwhile organization to add to this list, please email email@example.com. We are always looking for stories of positive works in our Montana communities.